Are You an Emotional Pain Junkie?

Change Your Self-Perception

How we perceive ourselves, along with the tone and intent of our internal dialogue, shapes our daily lives and experiences. We’re the one person that we truly cannot escape should our relationship with ourselves turn ugly. Usually, though, this form of self-abuse is a habitual way of life, and many people are only minutely aware of how deep its destructive roots actually go. Any strong emotional sensation can be addictive, and while happiness may seem like the preferred emotional addiction, there are throngs of miserable humans who are hooked on emotional pain. Here are a few indicators that you may be an emotional pain junkie.

The Guilt Grip

Guilt, a common form of mental self-abuse, is a behavior many people learn at a very young age. Numerous religions teach their adherents about guilt, and many parents instill this emotion in their children as a part of their moral development. For example, many mom and dads teach their offspring that guilt is the appropriate response for stealing, lying, hurting others or treating them unfairly.

While this emotion is ethical in these circumstances, some people burden themselves with feelings of guilt above and beyond what the situation merits. Carrying around guilt means the person is not willing to forgive themselves. This is not only destructive behavior, but invariably leads to constant emotional pain. The answer is to learn from your mistakes and make peace with them, in whatever manner necessary. Only then can you let go of the iron grip of guilt.

The Repeat Button

Life is full of many experiences, and while it may be the great ones you would choose to relive in your mind, sometimes it’s the destructive memories which often beat their way to the surface. If you find yourself continually reliving specific negative experiences, you are enabling your inner junkie to receive his or her emotional pain “fix.” Find peace with the past and stop beating yourself up over it so that you can clear the way for fresh experiences untainted with emotional baggage.

The Merciless Critic

Perfectionists and individuals of lower self-esteem tend to fall victim to their own inner critic. This internal voice always finds fault with whatever you do and is there to tell you that no matter how great your efforts, you will never be good enough. To be human is to be imperfect, and doing your best is all you can ask of yourself. Whatever the situation, give it your all, and then move on to the next great thing in your life.

Recognizing the signs of mental self-abuse is the only way to turn your life toward a more positive direction. For a wholesome change, try being your biggest fan instead of your own worst enemy!

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3 thoughts on “Are You an Emotional Pain Junkie?

  1. Kathy

    As far as being addicted to guilt, why do people (and I do this) continue to repeat a pattern? (Never mind hitting the “repeat button” which I do alot as well, esp after a break up.) I’m falling for someone, and the one thing we’d like to do most is to hop into bed. However, I know that if/when we do, I’m the one likely not to respect myself in the morning. But the desire is very intense. The only prevention we know right now is to stay away from each other. At the same time, this is a relationship we’d like to see move forward. — Also playing a part in this is a religious law that I’m bound to, though were it to be removed, the belief is the same: wait ’til marriage… which I’ve never been able to accomplish. (been married twice.) How do I forgive myself for being a sexual being? It’s not that I’m a slut or anything. I’m a good woman, and faithful to the one chosen.

    1. Tim

      I know this is 7 years later, but I know from experience that guilt can last a long time, so just in case it’s still a struggle, I’ll say this- None of those things make you a slut or anyhting. They make you human. Everyone has certain things they struggle with and you just do your best in them. And you may make mistakes, but that’s life (as cliché and trite as that sounds). As someone who also struggles with guilt, I think the reasons our brains impulsively tell us bad things about ourselves for what we’ve done is because it gives us a sense of justice to punish ourselves and see if that changes things, but it changes nothing. It just robs us of present joy because of past mistakes. It’s not good for anybody. Not for you or the people around you. Again, I struggle too, so I understand, but I think all those things are true. That all we can do is understand that we’re not perfect and we never will be and just move on and try to be better everyday. Again, I know this is way after the fact and probably irrelevant by now (if you’ll even see this), but I wanted to say something just in case you still struggle with guilt, not necessarily over this stuff, but just in general. Hope something I said helps in some way if you needed it.

  2. Pingback: Are You an Emotional Pain Junkie – by Alina Mikos | Carmen's Psychic Donut

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